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almost to the coast of America, it receives the whole force of the south-west winds, which are remarked to blow, in general, throughout Great Britain four-fifths of the year.
-Madidis Notus evolat alis
Terribilem picea tectus caligine vultum
Barba gravis nimbis, canis fluit unda capillis
"This character which the south wind has had in all ages, it preserves in full force in Cornwall. The air is thereby more full of moisture, and frequently subject to fogs, but they are not unhealthy. Ray-grass is earlier than in 'more internal parts of the kingdom: the winters very open, last winter for the only time these five years were the gentlemen able to procure ice to fill their ice-houses."
"Myrtles grow every where" (?) " in the open air, without the aid of green-houses."
MINERALS. The natural riches of Cornwall were, in days of old, hidden beneath its hard-featured surface. But, during a length of time which history is unable to measure, 'they have been sought after, the principal part, probably, dislodged, and scattered over the face of the globe. A remnant of them, however, is still left; as the annual 'products of the several mines, that are now worked in the County, fully testify.
Tin has ever been its most valuable treasure; and, as Mr. Fraser (who I have understood held an appointment under the Lord Warden of the Stanneries) has furnished some interesting information, concerning the mines of Cornwall, I will here insert a few extracts on the subject; to endeavor to make up for the deficiency of information, regarding the more immediate subjects of enquiry.
P. 14. "THE MINES of CORNWALL consist chiefly of tin, copper, and some lead. The strata in which these metals are found, extend from the Land's End, in Cornwall, în a direction from west to east, a very considerable distance into Devon, to the furthest part of the Dartmore Hills. These strata consist chiefly of the various species of the schistus, here called killas, and of the granite or growan."
Tin Mines.-P. 15. "Formerly immense quantities of this metal were found in the county of Devon, and in the eastern part of Cornwall; and innumerable ancient workings are to be seen on Dartmore, and the adjoining country; and in the east of Cornwall. In Devon, of late years, several ancient works have been resumed, and some new discoveries made, of which we shall give some account in the survey of that county. In the eastern part of Cornwall some old works have been lately resumed on Hengston Down, and Linkinhorn parishes, which formerly produced considerable
considerable quantities of tin, and promise well to the present adventurers; but at present the chief seat of mining lies to the westward of St. Austle. From hence to the Land's End, the principal mines are to be found in various strata, extending along the northern coast, keeping a breadth of about seven miles.
"Polgooth, the most considerable of the tin mines in the county, lies about one mile and a half west of St. Austle, and has produced, on an average, the last eight or nine years, about two thousand five hundred blocks per annum. This mine remains still as rich as ever. Some others there are working in this neighbourhood, but not of much conse⚫quence.
"In the parish of St. Agnes, and its adjoining parish Perranzaboloe, there are a great number of mines, the joint produce of which is very great.
"Kenwin, Kea, and Gwenap, afford considerable quantities of tin. In Gwenap is the mine called Poldice, very ancient and deep. It has yielded sometimes one thousand blocks yearly. It may now with more propriety be denominated a copper mine. In this, and many other tin mines, when they get to a great depth, the tin wears out, and leaves a lode or vein of copper.
"Huel Virgin is another instance of this kind; but as it produces, at her greatest depth of one hundred and sixty fathoms, some tin mixed with copper, I have enumerated it amongst the former. In Redruth, from Huel Pever, a portion of Northdowns and some other parts of the parish, tin is produced. In this parish the ancient mine of Treleigh Wood, though long neglected, will probably be worked again. In Wendron, north-east of Helstone, the tin mines are numerous; and though not individually large, the ancient and present quantities are high. Between Helstone and Marazion, are the tin parishes of Sithney, Breague, Germo, &c. &c.
"Immediately beyond Penzance, is a tin mine worked under the sea. The shafts through which the miners go down to work, is situated nearly one hundred yards below highwater mark. During the greatest part of the flood and ebb tides, if the works were to give way, they would be exposed to inevitable destruction. Further westward from Penzance, there are only small scattered mines, until you come to St. Just, in which stands Cape Cornwall, one of the western promontories. In this there are several mines, the ancient and present produce of which is very considerable. North and north east of Penzance, to St. Ive's Bay, are many mines, and generally much tin, but not at present
so productive as of late years: from hence, little, until you reach St. Agnes again.
"I have thus given a general view of the tin mines in the county. I shall also just enumerate the stream works, by which is meant the operation of washing the soil in the vallies, which is found to contain tin in the form of small particles or grains, supposed to be the detritus or abraisions from the greater lodes, either at the first formation of the earth, or subsequent revolutions.
"These are principally in the parishes of Lanlivery, Luxilvan, St. Blazy, St. Austle, St. Mewan, St. Stephens, St. Columb, St. Enoden, and Ladbrook, east and northeast of Truro, from five to twenty miles. The principal stream mine in the county is at Carnon, about half way between Truro and Penryn. West of this there are few stream mines.
"All tin ores are brought into metal in the county in blocks of from two hundred and three quarters, to three hundred and three quarters each, which are carried to the different coinages held at four stated periods in the year, and not saleable until there passed and marked with the arms of the Dutchy by the officers appointed for that purpose under His Royal Highness the PRINCE OF WALES, to whom there is a duty paid of four shillings per hundred weight, on all tin so coined.
"PRODUCE OF THE TIN MINES.-The annual produce of tin for seven years from 1786 to 1792 both inclusive, has been about 22,000 blocks, amounting nearly to 10. 108. per block, exclusive of duties, in the whole affording a produce of 330,0002.
"From the stream ore is produced generally what is called grain tin, amounting to 5 or 600 blocks per quarter, and sometimes more. The superior. price of this tin above the common tin at different times, has been from four to twelve per hundred weight.
"Native gold has been found in some stream works, and also, but more minutely, blended in some mines of tin.”
Copper Mines.-P. 19. "The produce of the whole of the copper mines amounts to about 40,000 tons of ore, yielding on an average about eleven three-fourths in the hundred, and consequently producing about 4,700 tons of copper. The greatest part of the copper ores are sent out of the county to be smelted, and the price is very variable; but taking the ore at 8. per ton, the produce of the copper mines will amount annually to about 320,0002.
"There are several old mines now unwrought, and which seem to carry a probability of being at some future period renewed. But it is necessary to observe, that many of the
present are become so deep and expensive, that they cannot be expected to continue many years; and that it is likely the setting on of those supposed worth being renewed, may not take place until the present deepest and most expensive are given up."
Lead Mines.-P. 19. " There are also some lead mines in different parts of the county, but they are not much worked at present, nor is their produce great, although the ores in general, I am informed, produce a pretty considerable proportion of silver."
Miners-P. 20. "I found it difficult to arrive at any very accurate estimate of the number of people employed in the mines of Cornwall. Some stating the number of men as high as 22,000, others not more than 8 or 9,000. Including the streamers, who are a distinct body from the miners, the number of men, women, and children, employed in raising the ore, washing, stamping, and carrying it, amount to about 16,000 of these there are from 12 to 14,000 men capable of bearing arms, who are as brave and hardy a race of men, and as much attached to the happy constitution under which they live, and the illustrious family on the British throne, as any description of individuals in the the kingdom*."
Profit of Mining.-After mentioning some fortunes, that have been made by mining, the Reporter informs us, p. 22, "In general, the mining business is considered as a lottery, in which there are more blanks than prizes; but these prizes sometimes are so very high, that they excite people to adventure, without making any very accurate calculation of the probability of loss."
"From the miners having occasionally given interruptions to the peace of the county, people who are strangers to their dispositions, might be apt to conclude that they were not so loyal, or peaceable set of people. That is far, however, from being the case, their insurrections are almost uniformly on account of either the actual dearness of grain, or from the apprehensions of approaching scarcity. But although they have frequently, from the real pressure, but more often ill grounded apprehension of approaching want, behaved with unpardonable irregularity and violence, yet they have been found, on different occasions, ready to follow the gentlemen of the county to Plymouth, or such other places as their services were required for the defence of the country; and, I am persuaded, that if any such occasion should again present itself, they would be found equally ready to turn out, according to their motto, one and all,' in support of their Sovereign and their Country."
PPROPRIATION.-For some account of the wild 'lands of Cornwall, see State of Cultivation, ensuing. But nothing explicitly appears, as to whether they were, at the time of reporting, appropriated, or otherwise; unless so far as relates to the rights of the Duchy.
STATES.-P. 31. "The Dutchy lands are still by far the most extensive of those belonging to any proprietor in the county. The lands of the other proprietors are very much intermixed with the dutchy lands, and with each other. Property is very much divided; there are very few who possess, of landed rental within the county, more than 30007. per annum, exclusive of under ground profits."
Mr. Fraser gives his readers a general view of the lands belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall; whether they are included within the County, or lie scattered, in various parts of the kingdom. Information, this, which concerns not the present enquiry.
TENURES.-See Farms, ensuing.
P. 59. "There is a good deal of coppice wood in the county of Cornwall, but little timber. Formerly the tin was smelted only with charcoal; and this made them cut down their woods, and keep them in coppice; so that there is not a great quantity of timber; although, from what is to be seen around the seats of many of the nobility and gentlemen, there is no doubt that timber will thrive as well in many parts of Cornwall as in other counties.
"The nine ancient parks belonging to the dutchy of Cornwall, were all of them covered with large forest trees, and a great quantity of coppice wood. But, when in the reign of Henry VIII. they were disparked, agreeable to the plan he had adopted, throughout the kingdom, for encouraging